Change Order Review
A change in the project after the contract has been signed leaves both parties with the question of what is a fair and reasonable way to determine who is responsible for the cost impact of this change. Changes can happen for any number of reasons: sometimes technical or contractual documents are interpreted differently, the design changes, quality change, schedules run over or get delayed because of permits or inadequate schedule allowance, overtime or a change in the availability of labour or material. Because
Quantity Surveyors are experts at detail, contracts and construction costs, they are in the perfect position to provide both the Owner and Contractor with a fair review of the how the change impacts the cost. The detail provided in the review leaves both parties with a clear, credible method to resolve how changes are handled before they become bigger problems.
A contractor may submit a claim for greater payment than the original contract called for after the work has already been complete. Unresolved claims can result in construction liens so it is important to address the claims before they become bigger issues. Similar to a Change Order review, the Quantity Surveyor evaluates the details of the claim and provides an unbiased recommendation concerning the cost. Using a third party to recommend a fair and reasonable settlement keeps Owners and Contractors satisfied that the price being charged for changes are appropriate.
Since Claims Reviews are independent, A.W. Hooker can be engaged by the contractor to prepare and substantiate a claim, or they can be engaged by the Owner to defend and negotiate claims.
When disputes on construction projects arise it usually involves cost. The details of the matter need to be analyzed by an unbiased third party with an expertise in construction components, costs and contracts.
Having an independent expert witness involved at this stage is beneficial because unsettled disputes can turn into litigation and they may be called to testify in court.
Property Tax Appeal
When the owner of a special purpose property (or special use property) appeals the value assessed by the relevant taxing authorities (MPAC in Ontario), they are always seeking to reduce the assessment. If the taxing authority wishes to defend themselves against the appeal, they need expert support. Quantity Surveyors can prepare Reproduction Cost Estimates or Replacement Cost New Estimates which are a detailed calculation of the costs to rebuild the facility exactly as it stands at the time. The QS can also assist in preparing depreciation schedules to account for the age and condition of the facility. This Estimate provides a thorough, detailed expert witness report which can be used in defence of the appeal in legal proceedings.